This small creature may not look like much, but Dune Scorpion's powerful venom can yield deadly results. It holds an interesting and unique damage mechanism in that its damage grows each time the opponent plays a card.
- Dune Scorpion applies a neurotoxin counter to a player. It acts like a poison counter, dealing damage every turn.
- The neurotoxin counter increases by one each time the affected player plays a card.
- The neurotoxin status can only be removed by Purify.
- All poison applications and effects stack with neurotoxin.
- Adrenaline only causes one extra counter to be added each turn.
Unlike most creatures, Dune Scorpion must first be buffed with a spell like Blessing before it can do anything. Once it does, however, it inflicts a special type of poison damage upon the opponent called neurotoxin. This appears as a yellow poison counter, which increases each time the Dune Scorpion attacks successfully and every time the player plays a card. Neurotoxin is cumulative with normal poison damage, meaning other poison cards like Arsenic add to the poison damage being inflicted by neurotoxin. It is interesting in that the neurotoxin status is still kept even when Dune Scorpion is killed. In other words, the opponent will still continue to gain poison counters when they play cards (although the Dune Scorpion will cease to apply more poison counters).
Although the results of neurotoxin can be devastating, it does have a hard counter in Purify. Purify removes the poison and neurotoxin status from the player while also applying a healing-over-time effect. However, should the Dune Scorpion attack again after Purify is played it will reapply the neurotoxin effect, even if the opponent is still being healed (the counter is still blue); the counter will go down (if blue) or up (if yellow) each time they play a card.
Because Dune Scorpion has 0 attack it must first be buffed to have any effect whatsoever. And what better card to buff it with than Momentum? Because of its low cost it is easy to run off a mark, and its effect allows Dune Scorpion to completely ignore shields, guaranteeing that it will hit the opponent and apply the neurotoxin effect. It is often preferable over the cards described below for that reason.
Dune Scorpion's ability is incentive for the opponent to play as few cards as possible - so what better a card to use than Eternity; Eternity repeatedly forces the opponent to either replay their rewound creature and take more damage, or not play it and deal less. Eternity can also be used to target Dune Scorpion itself when the player runs out of cards - because the neurotoxin status remains, the Dune Scorpion can be bounced repeatedly until the opponent dies from poison damage.
Finally, one of the funner synergies is with Nightmare. This card fills the opponent's hand with multiple copies of a creature - this is especially effective against the AI, which doesn't take neurotoxin into account, and naively plays all the creatures given by Nightmare, boosting their neurotoxin damage to ridiculous proportions. Against a human opponent it can be used as an effective counter to Fractal and Golden Hourglass, even when used on the opponent's own creature - they will either refrain from playing the creatures, clogging their hand and reducing the effects of Fractal and Hourglasses, or play the creatures and take extra damage.
Other Cards With Synergy
Naturally, other buffing cards such as Blessing and Chaos Power can also be used with Dune Scorpion, although Unstoppable is preferred for its effect. Other poison cards such as Forest Scorpion and Poison can help boost the neurotoxin damage. Extra buffing spells can be played on Deathstalker to add more poison damage than Dune Scorpion would be able to on its own.
Dune Scorpion is a nasty card that can be hard to counter - a player that suspects that their opponent has Dune Scorpion in their deck should hurry up and kill them before they become the victim of neurotoxin. One who does become affected should play their cards wisely; each card they play could be their last.
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